I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into when I purchased the Gruet Blanc de Noirs non vintage sparkling wine from Total Wine. After reading the recent Wine Spectator article (see my earlier post) on wine values around the world, I was excited to learn our local Total Wine carried several of the Gruet sparkling wines. The price was $14.99, so I figured what do I have to lose. Gruet Winery is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with vineyard elevations of 4300 feet, making them some of the highest in the United States. The growing New Mexico wine industry consists of 26 wineries today, producing almost 350,000 gallons of wine a year. The Gruet sparkling wines are available all over the US and online, so you should be able to locate easily.
The Blanc de Noirs is a French term meaning “white wine from red grapes,” and is predominantly made up of Pinot Noir. The Gruet Blanc de Noirs is made up of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay.
We decided to pair this wine with a Cranberry Almond Goat Cheese from Whole Foods. I’m a firm believer you can drink a sparkling wine with any food, and this paired beautifully with the cheese. On the nose, I picked up almonds and toast. The wine was surprisingly complex, with a creamy texture on the palate with nice acidity. The finish left me wanting more. I’m a big fan of champagnes/sparkling wines and stick with the bigger labels (e.g. Veuve Clicquout and Perrier Jouët). I typically score these non vintage labels anywhere between 87 and 89 points. After trying the Gruet, I’ll no longer waste my time or money with the others. At $14.99, not only is this a value play, but once again, another great wine from the other 46 states.
The rich and toasty character of our Blanc de Noirs is balanced and superb. Aged for two-year minimum, the palate is developed and shows rich complex flavors. The amazing berries aromas and the creamy texture play a leading role and create a great finesse. A fine salmon color, aggressive mousse and a lovely fruity wine with plenty of immediate charm and toasty aromas. There is also an explosive juicy flavor of raspberry.
I was about to hit the “publish” button in WordPress when I received a Google alert about Michigan wines. Wannabe Wino just published a blog on a sparkling wine from Michigan. I highly recommend you check it out!